20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


The well runs dry and, parched with fear,
I agonize that I, myself, may shrivel up,
run dry of heart-felt words, that in the end,
the new will once again be old, dwindling
on the page where the worn out and overused
go to seek their final solace, exhausted
from their time of service to the higher cause
of originating expressions of light,
inspiration, and heart-pouring sentiment,
the depth of inner being
spilled forth on public pages

I write my words for you,
my life laid platter-bare,
but what if, after all the words dry up,
there’s nothing there?  What if
I really was invisible?

©SpiritLed 2014


When Silence Ends

When, as a child, did you play happily
by the stream, and come singing home,
passionately sharing your adventures,
only for the beloveds to tell you, “Quiet!”

And when, in your classes, did you
confidently speak your truth, answer
their questions, paint your construction
paper masterpiece,  and the trusteds told you,
“It’s not good enough.”

And when did you feel the whisper of spirit
in your soul, gently guiding you on your way,
and you shared, and they laughed?

And when did you stop listening, painting, writing, speaking, trusting? 

And when will you decide that the darkness has
lasted too long, that the  passion of a new day
can no longer wait, lest  you tear free from your
own skin where you’ve been confined all these years?

That stumbling across stones and briars,
feet cut and bleeding, is preferable to the safe
and righteous path, where no pain, in fact
nothing at all, makes cuts into your soul?

When will you decide that fear of words
without real meaning will no longer be the
prison walls that demand freedom of the captor?

And when will you stoke the flames, when will you once
again tend to the spark, blow the breath of life into
the still-smoldering ashes, collect the branches and
twigs that have fallen in your path, burn them on
your altar, and fuel the dawning of reclaimed light?

© SpiritLed 2014


Fear To Silence

Terrified of losing you

I feel alone,

The words

No longer enough,

I don’t believe,

Can’t understand why.

Feels like you’re a million miles away

Even when you’re right here.

Don’t know where to start

A conversation

Don’t know what to say.

Afraid of pushing you away

Afraid of making a mistake

Ruining it all.

If I’m afraid to talk

Then really what’s the point?

And I still don’t know where to start,

So I’m silent,


With my fear,

My sadness and longing to feel

The love you say you feel.

Rescued at Last

I felt chapped and burned all over, though the clouds were dark and threatening that cold winter day.

He ran down from the stunted trees, to the dock, where I waited in the boat as it rocked in the shallows of the sound. There on the the boat, he kissed my cheek. “You’re alive!” he cried out. As the schooner slipped below the waves, I grasped his hand and cried. I remember the horror of that day, not because of the warmth of the land, or the lovely clusters of palms, but because of the fierceness of the burning sands.

1 Comment

Dream Chaser

I think about death a lot.

About my son, my mom, my neighbor.

I think about how easy it would be

to not deal with all this crap any more.

As I sit , trying to catch up on emails,

my heart starts to pound, I feel sick, shaking.

I wonder if the death angel has come for me.

It scares me more than I thought it would.

It lasted a long time, sweating, panting.

I miss my son and mom and others.

I wonder where I’d be if I hadn’t stayed here.

I wonder why I had to stay here when my son left.

And I see the dream chaser I made

For my grand kids today and think, “Maybe I know.”



digital misivs

 photo 20130423_122711.jpg

jacked on Marlboro’s and mocha java
she lives safely in her word cloud,
laying belly down with candy wrappers
littering the unkempt futon bed.

smartphone, notebook glowing
in that messy shades drawn room
and sometimes pink hair spilling
out a Neff cap covered eyes.

Skye, exists as ‘anonymous’
tattood and thin, small framed
her cool demeanor her paler skin
nothing touched her since he left.

and crossing paths in the gangway
with the new boy down the hall,
his immediate smile spoke volumes
he brushed against her as they talked.

but that spark its cruel reminder
of hurt she really can’t forget
her promise to call forgotten,
the spark was just suppressed.

Skye spent that night as every night
a private etherland of love
texting poems of lust her loneliness,
drift…digital misivs through the dark.



has your love
so quiet and fearful,
dormant in its shrouded heart?

don’t believe
the pale vocabulary
of this ambivalant world,
silence its own sharp betrayal.

and what
benefit has my
abundant heart if
not sharing our pain?

i am
not afraid
of your fear.

reach then,
reach for my hand
the true sky is waiting.
couple these hearts together
and we can glide above this fray.

sunrise animated photo: Sunrise 1 sunrise.jpg

Written April 2013

Courge to Cross the Line

He stood at the end of the trailer’s living room, yelling, cussing, throwing things, like he always did when he was angry.

She, of course, was in the hall by the washer, crying, her face speckled. red streaks, tears dripping onto her shirt.

I’m so sick of your bitchin, woman!” he shouted from the doorway, ready to run out, after he had yelled his final insult, stomped and delivered his final accusation.

Just step over the line and see what happens.” he yelled as he went for the door. As the line was crossed, he stared in silence.

Mask of Life

open weave
on a stick

that touches
my skin

Not wanting
nor willing to
show the world
who I
really am

protected from
outside world
who do not
know me
be myself

fronting with
a different
masquerade a
veneer of who I am

covering the
external me
to not display
the internal

it is permitted
to hide
behind the
of my safe being

the question remains
is it safe
to emerge
the open weave
that is the
of myself

do not dwell on

reactions of others
do not be afraid
open myself to

cast off my
reveal myself
cease this



Photo copyright Scott L. Vannatter

I kept hearing that sound-a mix of a far away scream and the howling of wind through some strange rock formation. “What was it?” I wondered as I sat huddled by the campfire with my brother and his friend.

We were both frightened and intrigued. Should we take off into the forest with only the moonlight and a small lantern to guide us, or ignore it, crawl into our warm sleeping bags in the tent and forget it?

And then we saw her, silhouetted against the rock at the top of the mountain. Her mystery and beauty held us all captive.


Hope (Interlocking Triplets)

I know your courage has worn thin

It’s hard to face another day

And unknown things that lurk within


But listen to what I will say

Get out of bed and lift your chin

Our God will always make a way


Remember all the good there’s been

And let the hope within you stay

Today’s the day you must begin


If worries, at the cross you lay

And all your sorrows that have been

For which our Savior died to pay


Just let go of your fear and sin

He’s with you always, come what may

His love you did already win

1 Comment

Blues Sonnet Challenge

A seizure plays its tunes in minor key,
the untuned music in a minor key
that screeches STOP! to all that pleases me.

Its dissonance makes nonsense in my brain,
nonsensical the dissonance. My brain
no longer hears the rhythms as they wane.

I play piano, use my hands with skill.
The many lessons have increased my skill,
but seizures cause my hands to then be still.

I love my life and want to live it well,
I try, o do I try to live it well
but seizure often throws me into hell.

I wait for melodies and songs to hear,
but dread the obbligato cast in fear.

Street maze

Maggie’s Adverb and Adjectives Challenge

Thank you Maggie, I think, for setting this.OK, it was (want to say hard) a – challenge! Have tried to follow the brief and hope that some qualifying words and phrases are allowed.

Julia was beyond panic. She ran for her life. She had lost Alexander, her shoes and her way in the warren of streets and still he followed. A sob escaped her and the stitch in her side begged her to stop, but she fought on, though uncertain now of when she might be safe, of where refuge might lie.

It came from nowhere. A door opened, an arm shot out and dragged her into a room. A hand clapped her mouth to stifle her scream and a man pointed his finger to his lips indicating she should make no sound. The shutters were closed, but through the gloom she made out Alexander’s face two inches from her own. His heartbeat echoed hers as they waited, peering through the slats at the street until the creature passed.

“What is that?” she whispered.

“We have no idea.” She whirled to see who had spoken and realised that the room was full of people. A woman stood and held out her hands. “But he follows you now as he follows us. He is hunting. You should rejoice that you turned the corner when you did and Alexander was able to apprehend you.”

“I told you not to come after me,” Alexander said.

“I had to. Don’t you understand. You wouldn’t listen to me and I have information.”

http://anexerciseindiscipline.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/maggies-adverbs and adjectives-challenge


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